I’m going to continue on my theme of people making really bad financial decisions when spending hard-earned money on a wedding. They get caught up in the frills. They think that spending $30,000 is typical. It’s normal to spend that much on a day. It’s just the way it is.
Well, you know what? Segregation used to be ok, too. And slavery…that was normal.
Let’s try to think outside of the box, alright? Let’s try not to make an investment where the return is a photo album you look at maybe once (if at all) a year.
Next up in my wedding planning is finding a photographer. I thought I was set on an artsy photographer who was willing to discount her services. Dean pooh-poohed her pictures. Moving on.
I found someone I absolutely loved. Max Wanger who takes very cool artsy pictures. I didn’t care whether Dean liked him or not. Immediately, I told Max to send over a contract.
Here was his response.
i failed to mention this over the phone but it’s my policy to let the other clients that inquired about the same date know that the date was about to be booked (as they had first priority). rarely does this happen, but one of the couples e-mailed back and wants to book me (i say rarely, because in this situation, the couple didn’t seem too eager from their initial e-mail)…
i apologize, i was honestly not expecting them to move forward. please let me know if you need other photographer recommendations.
I was heartbroken, but I guess that’s how the business works. I followed up with Max’s recommendations and continued to peruse wedding web sites for photos I liked. Several of the photographers he referred were stellar, but way out of my price range–like $5,000-7,500 for basic services. You don’t even get the digital files with that price!
I looked high and low. There was a great photographer from Michigan who photographed a business school friend’s wedding. There was a top-rated photographer from The Knot based in Texas. There was an award-winning photographer from Seattle who called me breathless in a very young-sounding voice, “OMIGOD, I LOVE THE ACE HOTEL! You don’t understand. I’ll do anything to photograph your wedding. I mean, like, anything. I won’t charge you travel even though, of course, I travel with an assistant. You’ll get my whole package with our labor for the full day and night, all the pictures on DVD, one of my couture wedding albums. I’ll even give you a discount. Another $500 or so off the package…whatever! I’d love to shoot your wedding.”
That group of photographers would not be undersold.
Here is an email from one of them.
This place looks awesome. Really, it’s being able to photograph at cool locations like this one of the reasons I love my job. It seems like your style (if reflective of your venue choice) really fits the style of photography- very old-school, not too trendy and totally natural. I especially love having great backdrops for creative portraiture and we could have a field day in a place like this.
I totally understand the budget issue. If that is the only reason, I can assure you that I can resolve this. I haver never done this, but I will offer to shoot your wedding and not charge you for any travel at all. I really think your wedding will be more fun than “work”. That being said, the most important thing is that you love my photography. I do not want to cone across as trying to talk you into it. I have clients from all over the country and have never offered this. It is simply that the place looks like one of a kind.
Simply tell me what your budget is and I’ll meet it.
Wow, right? FUCKING WOW! I am in wedding planning heaven.
To be continued…